Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Murder Charge for Man Linked to Slain Woman; Thompson Is in Prison, Serving Life Sentence for Another Crime

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Murder Charge for Man Linked to Slain Woman; Thompson Is in Prison, Serving Life Sentence for Another Crime

Article excerpt

Byline: Dana Treen

Michelle Lee McCoy likely died in a confrontation over a stolen phone, Jacksonville police said Wednesday, nearly two years after her mutilated body was found in a shallow grave.

This week they charged acquaintance Kenneth Lee Thompson, 26, with murder and kidnapping. Thompson, who is serving a life sentence for stealing cell phones in a January 2011 armed robbery, was returned to Jacksonville Tuesday from Suwannee Correctional Institution and charged.

The arrest report said Thompson and his uncle Larry Wayne Thompson, 52, lured the 20-year-old woman into a Chrysler minivan on Jan. 10, 2011, then made a stop in the 8900 block of Washington Street before driving to Ribault River Drive.

It was there that McCoy was strangled and run over by the van, police were told the day before her body was found.

When her burned body was excavated Feb. 3, 2011, the tips of her fingers and thumbs had been cut from her hands and one leg was nearly amputated, according to the medical examiner's report.

Before leaving home that night, McCoy was uneasy. She told family she was going out to meet a man named KT and asked her twin sister to call her on the phone. When Melissa McCoy called 30 minutes later, there was no answer.

Later that night, Kenneth Thompson told his girlfriend he had met a woman to sell her a phone. He said the deal didn't go through because the woman needed to get more money.

Homicide Lt. Rob Schoonover said Wednesday the Thompsons may have been in a struggle with McCoy over a phone.

"Whatever happened out there that night, there was blunt-force trauma and then killed her and buried her in the ground," Schoonover said.

Larry Thompson died of a self-inflicted gunshot eight days after McCoy's body was found and a week after a kidnapping warrant was issued for him in the case. Police had surrounded a house where he was holed up.

Sheriff John Rutherford said the State Attorney's Office decided to prosecute Kenneth Thompson on the robbery charges first.

It was a strategy he agreed with, Rutherford said.

Kenneth Thompson was convicted in March of the armed robbery of a Metro PCS store, possession of a firearm by a felon and two counts of dealing in stolen property. …

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